Tens of thousands of members of a racist legion operate openly in every corner of the nation – men, women, juveniles, extended families, cells, gangs, churches, clans, militias, border armies, all engaged in what they consider to be a war to the death against non-white America.
George Bush and John Ashcroft don’t want you to hear about White Terror, understandably fearing that the lyrics of white supremacy strike the same racial chords as the Pirates’ own War on Terror theme, itself a rearrangement of the many martial tunes written throughout American history in praise of Manifest Destiny. Less than a decade ago Timothy McVeigh’s band of terrorists got carried away with the logic of America as a White Man’s Country, and may have cost the Republicans the White House in 1996. That’s why the homeland security colors didn’t change in May of this year, when federal agents arrested a white racist couple dealing in weapons of mass destruction in a small town near Tyler, Texas. The feds seized a cyanide bomb capable of unleashing a deadly poison cloud, chemicals and components for additional WMDs, gas masks, 100 conventional bombs, an arsenal of automatic weapons, silencers and half a million rounds of ammunition.
The bust went unreported last Spring, although George Bush was said to have been regularly briefed about the “ongoing” investigation. Finally, the Dallas-Fort Worth CBS affiliate broke the story on November 26, when longtime militiaman and traveling gun merchant William J. Krar and his common-law wife pled guilty to possession of a chemical bomb and lesser charges. Local Channel 11 news producer Todd Bensman thought he had a huge national story on his hands, but CBS network refused to pick up his report. "I guess they didn't think it was important enough," Bensman told David Neiwert, a Seattle-based journalist who has covered right-wing terrorism since 1978. In fact, the national news blackout was near-total, as reported online by The Memory Hole.
The only media that saw fit to report about this terrorist plot within the US were a few newspapers and TV stations in Texas. The Web-based news outlet WorldNetDaily ran a story about it, but Google News shows that there hasn't been a word in the New York Times, Washington Post, LA Times, CNN, Fox News, MSNBC, or any other big media outlet. Why have the media decided that this is a non-story? It's hard to say, but we can say with certainty that if Muslims had been caught with these weapons of mass destruction, fake I.D., gas masks, and books on making explosives, it would've been front-page news for days.
The New York Times got around to the story on December 13, not on the news pages, but through a back door Op-Ed article titled “Enemies at Home.” Daniel Levitas’ piece passed the Times’ blandness test. “Americans should question whether the Justice Department is making America's far-right fanatics a serious priority,” Levitas wrote. “And with the F.B.I. still struggling to get up to speed on the threat posed by Islamic extremists abroad, it is questionable whether the agency has the manpower to keep tabs on our distinctly American terror cells. There is no accurate way of analyzing the budgets of the F.B.I., Justice Department and Department of Homeland Security to discern how much attention is being devoted to right-wing extremists. But in light of the F.B.I.'s poor record in keeping tabs on the militia movement before the 1995 Oklahoma City bombing, one wonders whether the agency has the will to do so now.”
What apologetic nonsense. The federal police are acting just like their predecessors under J. Edgar Hoover, who for decades denied there was such a thing as the Mafia. Hoover knew full well that the Italian-American syndicate existed, since the Bureau had used gangsters countless times as lethal instruments against leftists in the union movement. The FBI was a friend to the Mafia until deep into the Sixties and – the movie, Mississippi Burning notwithstanding – sheltered and immunized far more Klansman than it ever arrested. The Bureau does as it is told, and it has been instructed to hide White Terror from view.
Indeed, there are striking similarities between the FBI’s modus operandi with the Ku Klux Klan in the Sixties and the Bureau’s behavior towards today’s white terrorists; the feds watch, but don’t do much of anything to stop them. There is no question that the Aryan Nations, National Alliance, Christian Identity, various reconstituted Klans, skinheads and hundreds of other homegrown Nazi organizations have been heavily infiltrated by various law enforcement agencies. After all, they are full of criminals of the kind that routinely trade evidence for extended sojourns outside of prison. In addition, the American domestic arms trade is a roadmap to the violent Right, a national grid full of above ground gun markets and fairs. All it takes is some cash to join the circuit and meet the folks.
Terrorists with Impunity
The feds met William Krar around the time of the Oklahoma City bombing. According to the November 26 television report from Dallas-Fort Worth:
“In 1995, the ATF investigated Krar and another man on weapons charges. The other suspect told authorities at the time that he and Krar shared an abiding hatred of the federal government and had been planning to bomb government facilities, court records show. But the suspect later recanted the story about plotting terror attacks with Krar. Krar denied the allegation and was not arrested, according to records.
There is little to indicate that the feds wanted to make anything stick to Krar. On the day after 9/11, an employee at a New Hampshire storage site where the weapons dealer kept his regional customers’ stock reported Krar’s “wicked anti-American” remarks to the FBI, which filed a report but did – nothing! When the feds finally moved on Krar and his companion in Noonday, Texas a year and a half later, the arrest warrant said he was “actively involved in the militia movement…a good source of covert weaponry for white supremacist and anti-government militia groups in New Hampshire,” his native state. How long had this been known to the FBI? It’s a moot question, since such activities were clearly not of great interest to the Bureau.
Four months after 9/11, in January 2002 the feds stumbled on Krar’s network through no smarts of their own when a package meant for New Jersey militiaman Edward Feltus was mistakenly delivered to a Staten Island, New York address. “The package contained more than five false identification documents, including a North Dakota birth certificate, a Social Security card, a Vermont birth certificate, a Defense Intelligence Agency Identification card, and a United Nations Multinational Force Identification card,” said the East Texas U.S. Attorney’s office. But no attempt was made to halt Krar’s activities, which continued until May of this year.
The U.S. Attorney’s statement claims that after the New Jersey package turned up, a “subsequent investigation” discovered that Krar “had accumulated dangerous chemical weapons,” an apparent reference to a Tennessee Highway Patrol stop of Krar’s car a full year later, in January 2003. State Police – not federal agents – found dangerous chemicals and a note that “appears to represent instructions for carrying out some kind of covert operation,” Channel 11 reported. “It lists code words for cities where meetings can take place at motels.”
The cities where the conspirators would presumably meet were called “zones” and included: Chattanooga, Bristol, and Knoxville, Tennessee; Scranton and Harrisburg, Pennsylvania; Winchester and Roanoke, Virginia; Jackson, Mississippi; and Shreveport, Louisiana.
The TV story continued: “Other codes appear to be warnings about how close police might be to catching the plotters. ‘Lots of light storms are predicted,’ for instance, means ‘Move fast before they look any harder. We have a limited window remaining.’”
The FBI and other federal agencies had left the “window” open for mad white bombers Krar and Bruey for two whole years, but you’d never know it from the U.S. Attorney’s press release. “Through the cooperative effort of the FBI, ATF, the Army CID and the Criminal Investigative Service, these defendants were identified and their activities pinpointed and neutralized. We live in a safer world because of the efforts of these agencies."
Honest lawmen see things differently. Channel 11 warned that “authorities familiar with the case say more potentially deadly cyanide bombs may be in circulation.”
The Right rampages, again
The Oklahoma City bombing killed 168 people in 1995, most of them white and many of them children. For a time, the white public recoiled from the harshest rhetoric of their race-crazed kin, and it appears that many rank and file supremacists shrank away in shame, becoming inactive. Bill Clinton’s political fortunes rose dramatically on the sea change of public revulsion at the Right, and he defeated Bob Dole decisively in the 1996 election. Thomas Sowell, Republican Uncle Tom Emeritus, still complains about that period. “The Oklahoma City bombing was immediately blamed on conservative talk show hosts, even before the perpetrators were known,” Sowell wrote in a November, 2002 column, exaggerating as usual.
However, as the William Krar saga indicates, at no time have federal authorities treated white hate groups as clear and present dangers to national security. The lethal threat to Black America failed to spur Bill Clinton to any serious action against these very visible networks. Krar kept selling his wares, and apparently grew more sophisticated and deadly.
Then came September 11. Racism was back with volcanic vengeance, unbound by any notions of shame – the Great Mobilizer of White Americans. The horror of Oklahoma City had provided only a respite, after all. This time, the Republicans are determined to ride the tidal wave of white fear and hate to its ultimate, ordained destination: world conquest. And there will be no reminders of the despised Tim McVeigh to break the triumphalist spell – not if Attorney General Ashcroft can help it.
On the December 5 edition of Democracy Now! University of Texas journalism professor Robert Jensen attempted to explain the silence over racists armed with WMDs. “[C]ases like this – of domestic terrorism, especially when they involve white supremacist and conservative Christian groups, don't have any political value for an administration, especially this particular administration,” said the professor. “ Therefore, why – if one were going to be crass and cynical, why would they highlight this?
“On the other hand, foreign terrorism and things connected to Arab, South Asian and Muslim groups, well those have value because they can be used to whip up support for military interventions, which this administration is very keen on.”
Jensen understates the case. The Noonday, Texas WMD story was squashed by the Bush Administration with the active collaboration of editors throughout the corporate media. The December 10 issue of Intelligence Squad got it just about right: “Suddenly it becomes clear why John Ashcroft isn’t going to make a big deal out of nailing these guys: they are essentially a more extreme version of Ashcroft himself.”
The Bush men conceal the existence terrorists, as if embarrassed by their own kind.
Reporters at Channel 11 in Dallas-Fort Worth were told, “federal agents have served hundreds of subpoenas across the country in a domestic terror investigation” since May. Yet there have been no subsequent news reports of such events and only three people are in custody: Krar, Bruey and the New Jersey militiaman, Edward Feltus. If the hundreds of persons suspected of terrorist activities were Arabs or South Asians, we might assume they were locked away incommunicado in the twilight Gulag created since September 11. But these are white Americans with special dispensation to engage in an ancient yet familiar rampage. They can hide in plain sight, because nobody’s really looking.
Glen Ford and Peter Gamble are the editors of The Black Commentator, where this article first appeared.